COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Jordan defender Michael Neddo's long-distance goal just before halftime could've stunned the top-ranked Brighton Bengals.
After all, they had been dominant for most of the first half, only to go into halftime with the score knotted at 1-all after Neddo's goal in the 37th minute.
However — as they've done on so many occasions — the Bengals simply shrugged off the strike and kept going.
Ben Perkins and Seth Fankhauser both scored in the second half, and undefeated Brighton maintained an unblemished record by posting a convincing 3-1 win over neighbor Jordan on Tuesday afternoon.
Despite Neddo's late first-half goal, the Bengals continued to dominate by controlling the midfield early in the second half, allowing their outside backs to push forward as part of the attack.
As a result, Brighton produced several dangerous opportunities before finally finishing a couple of them. In the 54th minute Matthew Coffey tallied his second assist of the game as he beat the defense down the left wing before crossing it to a wide-open Perkins, who had an easy finish.
Brighton scored again in the 64th minute on a beautiful team play. Connor Fordham made a nice run down the left wing, crossing the ball to Perkins. Perkins touched it to an open Fankhauser, who put the ball right under the crossbar. The play summed up the type of team Brighton is this year. The Bengals have been able to control possession and force other teams to scramble, which inevitably leaves openings for scoring chances.
That was evident during the first half of Tuesday's match, as Brighton wasted little time before opening up the scoring.
In only the second minute, Coffey took advantage of an early set piece, crossing the ball into the wind where defender Zach Bernardo was able to put it in the back of the net. Brighton dominated the first half, forcing Jordan to chase for nearly all 40 minutes before Neddo's goal leveled the match temporarily.
At the halfway point of the season, the Bengals are poised for another championship run but hope to continue to improve in order to get over the hump and win in the title game. Brighton will next play at Cottonwood this coming Tuesday.
Jordan, meanwhile, faces Sky View in the Real Cup on Friday.
Brett Rosen is a certified strength and conditioning specialist and health/fitness specialist for Integrated Sports Performance, a sport performance training company in Sandy, Utah. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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